University Lowbrow Astronomers

Venus Transit, June 5/6, 2012

Venus Transit

What is it?

A Venus Transit takes place when Venus is directly between the Earth and the Sun. This is a rare occurrence, the last Venus Transit was in 2004, the next transit will be in June 2012. If you miss the transit of 2012, the next transit will be in the year 2117.

The 2012 Transit will not be visible in Western Africa, Western Spain, Portugal, most of South America, most of the Atlantic Ocean and Antarctica. The rest of the planet can see part or all of the Transit (assuming there are no clouds). Looking at the sun is potentially dangerous, so you must use proper eye protection (however when the sun is red during sunrise or sunset eye protection is unnecessary).

Depending on your location, the 2012 transit will take place either June 5 or June 6. If you live in Southeast Michigan, the transit will occur on the evening of June 5 from approximately 6PM until sunset. More information can about the Venus Transit be found at

The event has past, but see photographs of the June 2012 Transit.

How do I get there?

There are several events where the public can view the Venus Transit in the Ann Arbor area. All events held on June 5, 2012.

Other events can be found at the The Transit of Venus (Kensington Metropark) page.


The map below shows the Ashley and Angell Hall Observing Locations.

For the Ashley Street Observing Location: the surface parking lot is marked “P” and the observing location is marked “Telescopes.” Note there is an alternate parking lot two blocks to the north (also marked “P”).

The map below shows several locations including the Detroit Observatory and Angell Hall.

Main Campus Map

2004 Venus Transit

The last Venus Transit was visible from Southeast Michigan on the morning of June 8, 2004. There were several venues in the Ann Arbor area where this transit could be viewed. See Photographs of the June 2004 Transit.

The photograph at the top of this page was taken during the 2004 Transit by Brian Ottum.


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